Merry Christmas Images

We took some time to scan as many of our member Facebook Pages to see how they were wishing their customers a Merry Christmas and found a bunch. Have a look and see if you can identify who is who. It was a fun adventure seeing how you are using Facebook to lift up the holiday season. If you click on the image it will get larger for you.

Christmas Images 2017All of us at NTPDA wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Thank you all for what you do!


A Month Away!

It's hard to believe that in just a month we'll be gathering for the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association Annual Trade Show and Corpus Christi SkylineConference! With all the holiday cheer and excitement it's sometimes easy to forget about the middle of January...  We get it. If you have not yet registered and made plans to join us in Corpus Christi now is the time to make that happen. Here is a link to our registration page complete with the schedule of events and our top of the line speakers.

Come to Corpus Christi, where we hope it will be much warmer, and hang out, have some fun and learn how to become a better business owner/manager/employee. (A nudge to our Canadian Members...think...warm!)

Coming up a THANK YOU to so many who have decided to help NTPDA with sponsorship. We figure a little recognition is in order...right?

See you in Corpus Christi...remember, just a month away.


If You Are An Early Bird!

If you are an "Early Bird" we've got great news! Our Early Bird Registration is open until Thursday evening Early Bird Special Image the 30th of November. That means you've still got time to register for our Annual Conference and Trade Show and save some significant fees.

Why do we do this? Because we want to provide you value for your NTPDA membership and we like knowing early who is coming so we might plan ahead. It's important because not only do YOU save money when you register early we save too by being able to lock in our pricing from the hotel.

This January promises to be a great year for our Annual Conference and Trade show and we hope that you and your staff will join us in Corpus Christi.

In the coming days we'll be sharing BIG THANK YOU notes to those of you who have sponsored some of our events. That too...helps your Association bring you top talent for our educational sessions.

Here is your LINK to register today before our Early Bird flies away!


Thankful for Saving Money!

Thanksgiving week puts us all over the edge it would seem. Family dinners, friends coming over it's enough to make us all forget about business. But, wait! Our Thanksgiving-turkeyAnnual Conference and Trade Show is coming up and we're giving you an opportunity to save money on your registration!

Now through the 30th of November you can register for the Corpus Christi based conference for just $300 per person. That's quite a savings from the price that hits on December 1st. While you're thinking of "the bird" don't forget to get your registration TODAY.

Don't be a turkey (I know ENOUGH with the Thanksgiving links!) get your registration made today. And, we've made it easy to do so. Here is the link for our registration page on our National Tractor Parts Dealer Association website.

We're headed to warmer weather and some great business education in Corpus Christi. Make sure you join us so when you get back the ideas and the networking put you on the "Gravy Train". (BTW, did you know you can make your gravy in advance? Use turkey wings or a leg and cook up your gravy BEFORE the guests come and freeze it then it's heat and are welcome!)


You Should Be Very Afraid!

It is Halloween and the spooks are really! But if you are fearful of ghosts that is nothing compared to missing the National Tractor Parts Dealer Annual Man Shock Meeting and Trade Show. Missing that adventure should really send shivers down your spine!

We'll be headed south to Corpus Christi, Texas in January and there is no time like the present to make plans to attend. We've got some frightfully dynamic events in store including our great headquarters hotel the Omni Corpus Christi. Check it out by clicking on our special page...go ahead and the price won't scare you away!

In addition to a great location we've got a boiling cauldron of great information to help you better run and manage your business! 

  • Richard Flint on Embracing Change - Folks are often scared by change but it's coming any way. Richard will offer up "Six Steps to Embracing Change" in our first session on 18 January.
  • Crystal Washington on Advanced Digital Marketing - She's baaack! Crystal was with us last year and you enjoyed her so much she is back for a second round of training. This time she will be helping you better understand the best methods of using digital (think computers and smart phones) marketing. She will also be presenting on 18 January.
  • Got the Right People? - Richard Flint joins us for an afternoon session that same day and talks to us about hiring smart and retaining well. We all know how difficult it is to find the RIGHT person for the job. Richard will help take the horror out of the effort.
  • Got Skills? - Then on the 19th Richard is back with "Mastering the Five Skills for Effective Leadership". What skills are necessary to be able to get people to their most productive level? He'll have the answers!

Don't miss out on this fantastic ain't at all scary!

One other thing:  "Knock, knock" (Who's there?) "Booo!" (Booo who?) "Don't cry it's Halloween!"

Thanks for reading...see you in Corpus Christi! 




Helping In Forgotten Communities - NTPDA

When we received word that Harvey had struck the Coastal Bend Area of Texas it hit a nerve with our Board and our Members. Recently Coastal Bend Map we held a meeting near that area and our Board had an opportunity to interact with residents there. (You can click on the map to see the area.)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey it seemed like these communities had been forgotten as all the attention focused on Harvey Images Sept 2017Houston. This takes nothing away from the destruction in our nation's 4th largest city it has been awful. However, we wanted to help in an area we knew and where there was minimal assistance and focus.

The Board of Directors for NTPDA authorized a donation to buy generators, fuel cans and other supplies. Phyllis and friends loaded up a truck and drove to the Coastal Bend to deliver them. Buying, loading and driving took hours and the donated supplies were GONE in minutes.

Thank you to our staff and to our Board for your assistance in this effort. We have heard from several people in the communities we visited and they all extend their gratitude to you and our general membership. 

Giving back is often the very best feeling...ever.

The Power of Repeating Stuff

Who doesn't like repeat customers? Who doesn't like being told...a couple of times...that you've got a great logo or uniform or...heck a Man hay bale microphonehaircut? Just as much as we enjoy repeat customers and repeated complements so too should we learn that when we repeat something over and over it has real power.

In marketing and advertising it is what is called "Top of Mind Awareness". Making sure your product or service is at the top of mind when it comes to buying what you are selling. "One and DONE" doesn't cut it. It takes an effort to make sure you repeat your message over and over.

Here are a couple of examples and while they are for national brands we think you'll get the message:

" Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should" - Winston has been of television and radio for decades...yet we remember the tag line;

"The Campaign of Bottled Beer" - Miller used this slogan for years and years abandoned it and this year brought it back...for good reason;

"A Diamond is Forever" - DeBeers debuted this way back in 1948 and they are still using it works;

"Breakfast of Champions" - Who doesn't know this 1930's Wheaties slogan;

"It's the Real Thing" - CocaCola hit it out of the park with this from 1970;

"Say it With Flowers" - This will surprise you, the slogan dates back to 1917!

You get the idea... True, each one of these slogans had real dollars behind them to push the idea and the brand. Maybe your business doesn't have that sort of advertising budget but maybe you don't need all that cash to accomplish much the same thing.

Think of your value proposition and what you bring to your customers and then put that in words. Not a bunch of words but short and sweet. We know of a law firm that has the tag line, "We get things done!" because the number one complaint complaint among legal clients is that far too often law firms don't get things done and clients have to wait...and wait. The firm went so far as to register the slogan and they use it...everywhere.

Find your value proposition and then repeat it...often and everywhere. The goal is to have your customers hear or see those words and identify you and your unique value. 

It very well could bring you...repeat customers.

American Workers and Hostile Workplaces

Last week we saw a national news story that shocked us. In a recent study of over 3,000 U.S. workers by the Rand Corporation, Harvard Man Angry Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles one fifth of these American workers say they face a hostile or threatening environment at work. This can include sexual harassment, bullying and co-worker abuse.

That is a shocking number.

Some additional findings:

  • Nearly 55 percent say they face "unpleasant and potentially hazardous" conditions;
  • Nearly three-fourths say they spend at least a fourth of their time on the job in "intense or repetitive physical" labor;
  • Only 38 percent say their jobs offer good prospects for advancement and the older they get the less optimistic they become.

Why do we share this with you? Because we often hear from members that it is difficult to find workers to fill jobs even while the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low.  Could it be that working conditions matter?

How are things at your shop? If you are having issues in hiring and retention? Perhaps it's time to do a self assessment. Some thoughts on that:

  • The "Stay Interview" - Why do some of your employees stay with you and other leave? There is much you can learn from an interview with some long-term employees;
  • Your Employment Brand - While every business has a brand not all business know what their employment brand is. What do current and past employees say about your company? (In this age of social media it's important to know.) What can you learn from them by asking and then making changes;
  • Job and Performance Reviews - Do you do them fairly and do you offer employees an opportunity for feedback?

To be fair, not everything about the American workplace is grim. Workers enjoy considerable autonomy with more than 80 percent saying they get to solve problems and try out their own ideas. Moreover, 58 percent say their bosses are supportive and 56 percent say they have good friends at work.

The goal is to take the time and find out what you can do...better... to retain your employees and hire well qualified staff. Everybody knows that turn-over is costly and when your "employment brand" isn't positive it impacts hiring, productivity and profits.

If you would like to read the study we referenced, click here.




Scholarships - Giving Back

Each year the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) awards college scholarships to a group of deserving young people. Each Diploma Scholarship recipient was vetted by our Scholarship Committee made up of Carol Russell (Abilene Machine), Brian Kitch (Bates Corporation), Linda Benton (Southeast Tractor Parts, Inc.) and Paul Dyke (All States Ag Parts). Allow us to introduce you to our Scholarship Award Winners for the 2017-2018 Academic Year:

Andrea Blankespoor - Andrea is pursuing a degree in nursing at St. Luke's College and was sponsored by member corporation A & I Products;

Connor Brinton - Connor is seeking a degree in business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was sponsored by member corporation Hoober, Inc.;

Alexis Fabian - Alexis is at the University of Northern Iowa seeking a degree in education and was sponsored by Worthington Ag Parts;

Angela Good - Angela is working toward a degree in business administration and management at Millersville Univerity and was sponsored by Hoober, Inc.;

Matthew Kennedy - Matthew is at Indiana Purdue - Fort Wayne studying civil engineering and was sponsored by TTP-Diesel Power & Machine;

Dorea Lauer - Dorea is at Fox Valley Technical College working toward an Associates Degree and was sponsored by All States Ag Parts;

Lexee Lemler - Lexee is working toward a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Manchester University and was sponsored by Bates Corporation;

Jamin Manus - Jamin is at Hawkeye Community College where he is working toward a degree in agriculture. Jamin was sponsored by A & I Products.

Once again, thank you to our Board the Selection Committee and congratulations to our scholarship winners!



How Does Your Business Measure Up?

Today is National Tape Measure Day! No kidding, we looked it up. It seems it is celebrated every 14th day of July. Who knew? But, that got us to thinking about business and how we measure our success and our relationships with our members and friends of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. Tape Measure Image

So, how do you measure success? Sure, we can look at sales (the easiest way to gauge how we are doing) we can measure expansion of our business and it's business model. We can measure customer satisfaction. We can measure our willingness to give back to our community. We can measure our ability to attract and retain employees. We can measure so very much and many of us do.

But what happens if we find out we're "coming up short" in our measurement of success in any of the areas above? What do we do about it? Might we chalk it up to mistakes, miscues, or is it mismanagement? 

Those are tough questions to ask ourselves and ask about our relationship with customers, vendors and employees. How do we measure up and what might we do if we find an area where we can improve?

One of the things your NTPDA attempts to do on a regular basis is take the measurement of what we're doing to enhance the value of membership. Where is it that we can improve in our communication our training our involvement with our members?

We'd love to know what you think. Take a moment and let us know. You can comment here on this blog or drop us an email or give us a call or check us out on Facebook. We're here and we'd love to know how you measure success and if we are measuring up to your expectations.

Thanks for reading!